Japan has a strict social etiquette that stems from its past, when the pecking order decided how everyone acted. Breaking the rules would bring severe repercussions, even death! More than one person was executed for committing a social blunder though thankfully it's not like that now.
When you visit, as you don't come from Japan, the locals will probably forgive your ignorance. Two faux-pas are very serious:
Even if they are your criss Nikes, wearing shoes into a person's home is a no-no.
The other, if slightly off-key, is no washing with soap inside a communal Japanese bath. You've been warned!
Ten social pit-traps to avoid are...
1. If you mess up apologise loads and smile. Making a big deal of something is bad.
2. Business cards are very important, they're who you are in paper form. Exchange of cards is a highly risky and formal procedure.
3. Never stand with your hands in your pockets or your arms folded. This ain't Hip Hop star!
4. Don't flash some next level slang as the Japanese learn grammatically correct English and won't understand you.
5. Be punctual. Being late is rude - no long ting!
6. Meeting or leaving people involves lots of specialised bowing. The angle and length of your bow depends how important you are. No joke.
7. Finding clothes that fit is difficult in Japan so don't lose your case. Not much baggy garms here. Shoes are even more of a problem and people with over size feet are going to have trainers imported.
8. Don't tip. If you insist on giving a tip it's rude.
9. Never blow your nose in front of people, especially at dinner. Snot is a no-no.
10. If you're at a dinner don't touch your drink until someone proposes a toast or they say you can drink.
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